A revolution in the visual communication industry, our story is told by our customers, our work, our products and the people who helped create them.
Egan Visual was founded in 1967 based on a single product innovation, born out of a customer’s need. Jim Egan designed and created the company’s very first product, the world’s first Presentation Markerboard Cabinet. The product - a whiteboard with doors - was designed to capture ideas and thinking with the ability to store away from view when not in use, maintaining the design integrity of an office space. Fabricated in a friend’s picture frame shop, the product was loaded into a station wagon driven by Mr. Egan himself to the client’s office. The first product order was signed and the rest is history.
BRINGING EGAN TO THE PEOPLE
In 1974, Jim took Egan Visual products on the road in the custom outfitted and designed Mobile Presentation Vehicles (MPV). Believing so much in the products that they manufactured, and knowing it was about the experience of using an Egan product that made people into customers, the team planned road trips across North America, calling on thousands of dealers, designers, and clients. In the process, Egan Visual made sure to give the customer a convenient way to experience Egan products first hand and up close.
PLANTING THE SEED
After finding success in the first two decades, it was time for Egan Visual to move into a bigger home, as it was growing rapidly. So, in 1981, Egan Visual broke ground on what continues to be their current office and factory with the next generation of Egan manufacturing capabilities. This was the beginning of a state of the art manufacturing facility, one Mr. Egan designed to be the standard of the industry’s best capabilities. This is a standard that the company
THE NEXT STEP
Product innovation hit an all time high in the late 1980’s when Egan Visual rolled out EganSystem™. Designed to suit and enhance presentation and collaboration spaces in a modular and customizable fashion, EganSystem was inspired by European office furniture and perfected by Egan capabilities.
With so much growth under its belt, it’s always good to remember where you came from, and in 1992 Egan Visual did just that by celebrating the 100,000th cabinet manufactured, a celebration of the product that was responsible for its start. Egan Visual wouldn’t be where it is today, if it wasn’t for all the employees. Each company employee adorned the cabinet markerboard with their signatures. This cabinet is still on display today (alongside Cabinet #200,000, hung later), with the same amount of pride that the team had back then. Cabinet #300,000 was also produced in the ’90s. With Egan innovation hitting its stride, 1992 would be the last year that Cabinets accounted for over half of Egan revenue,
AN APPEARANCE TO MAKE
Egan Visual had been exhibiting at NeoCon since its inception in 1969, but it was in 1993 that Egan attended NeoCon in style, bringing the big show. A tractor trailer adorned with Egan Visual branding parked in front of the iconic Merchandise Mart in Chicago, set off a new trend of advertising in front of the Mart. What better way to show off your brand in one of the most eye catching areas of Chicago.
SHOW & TELL
Never being one to rest on a single idea, Egan Visual is always trying to innovate in ways to bring something new to bring to market, and the year of 1995 was no different. Teamboard was introduced in 1995, making Egan Visual the first real manufacturer of interactive whiteboards. Over the next 20 years, millions of presenters and students around the world would make their ideas come to life on Egan TeamBoards.
SETTING NEW STANDARDS
In 2003, Egan set a new standard for marker board surfaces with the invention of EVS™. Like many other innovations from Egan, EVS was a simple idea that carried a lot of weight. The most amazing part is it is still the only surface that lives at the intersection of three important performance traits – guaranteed to clean/erase ability, low gloss/low glare, and the design flexibility of a thin film. With so much promise, EVS allowed for Egan products to not only delight, but to never disappoint. Within 10 years, EVS would be outselling Porcelain by more than 5:1.
Already a multiple Silver and Innovation Award winner, it was in 2006 that Egan took home its first Gold at NeoCon, in the category of Office Accessories for its EganWall Presentation Wallcovering. Innovation wasn’t anything new for Egan, but the industry recognition cemented what Jim Egan believed from the start: that Egan Visual was a company with purpose, “designing and manufacturing unique products that work for the presenter and also the facility manager”.
A SOLID PASS
After showing continuous improvement in assuring customers benefits by showing consistent performance, in 2009, Egan Visual reached another milestone by earning both ISO 9001 Certification for Quality, and ISO14001 Certification for its Environmental Management Systems. Egan maintains those registrations still today and has passed every external audit of its processes
THE WAY UP HIGH GUY
Customers, employees, suppliers, and the Industry mourned the passing of Jim Egan July 27, 2011. His obituary was run by all the major industry trade publications. Mr. Egan was affectionately known as the “Way Up High Guy” by company employees who he treated like family, nurtured and trained into the industry’s best. Years before his passing, a “Way Up High Guy” signed was placed on his parking spot in jest – in typical Jim Egan fashion, he thought it was hilarious and kept it there. So as a reminder of where it all started, and to honor Jim Egan the year of his passing in 2011, a memorial was set up to commemorate its founder. Egan management converted his parking spot of 44 years, made it a memorial and a memory of a true entrepreneur whose values live on in the company today. The worn “Way up High Guy” sign was replaced with a brass replica and still stands today.
A NEW ERA
Hand-picked by Jim two years earlier to lead Egan Visual into a new era, Sean Brown was named President. With a background in design, manufacturing, operations, sales, and marketing, Sean enjoyed Jim’s industry innovation mentorship and went on to build an amazing new team of in-house Engineers and Industrial Designers. By 2017, a substantial one-third of company revenues would be coming from all-new products launched in the previous five years.
Egan Visual custom response is designed to help find the customer exactly what they want, and in 2014 it worked out for the customer and Egan Visual. Born out of a customer need for a highly clean modern aesthetic, with magnetic capabilities for product development collaboration sessions, the Dimension Stele was created and introduced. These are the moments where Egan Visual thrives: understanding a customer challenge and finding
In 2015, Egan Visual, a humble company who focuses on their work received their first Innovation Award from INDEAL. This award – won by Egan two years in a row - was a special honor because it was voted on by the industry’s top 200 dealers. Designed to last, and Built to Inspire, Egan Visual is a one of a kind company.
In the constant search of innovation, in 2016 Egan expanded its glass production capabilities with the addition of in house spectrophotometry and semi-automatic precision backpainting. Meaning that customers could now pick from the industry’s largest selection of glass products, with the widest selection of colors, tested under ASTM standards, available in the industry’s fastest lead times. A new frontier for Egan with endless
TURNING ME TO WE
In 2016 Egan Visual launched a collaboration with WE Charities. Through this partnership, Egan Visual employees have an opportunity to make an impact locally with monthly campaigns to improve the lives of the communities in which they do business, and globally through events like building schools in Kenya.